David Herron's blog

Apple's new iPhone trade-in upgrade program is good recycling news

iPhonesApple's iPhone trade-in program is rolling out in Apple stores across the US according to several reports.  It's possible to trade an iPhone for a later model through several places now, such as Best Buy.  But from Apple's point of view they want the customer to remain an Apple iPhone customer, whereas through other programs the "upgrade" could be to an Android device.   Customers are given a value for their iPhon

Olympus E-PL2 upgrade choice between E-PL5 or Nikon D3200

E-PL5-hero-black_1Have been looking for a new camera to replace my Olympus PEN E-PL2 and after weighing a number of parameters am going to upgrade to the Olympus PEN E-PL5.  I'm doing this instead of, for example, a Nikon D3200, for reasons I'll get to in a minute.  The E-PL5 is hugely improved over the E-PL2, and because it's nearly identically sized switching to the E-PL5 will be very familia

Textastic is a free competent programmers text editor

textstaticsMac's get used by software developers to write code.  We coders need competent software text editors.  That means syntax coloring and some other specific features for coding, such as making sure not to mangle the difference between a tab and a space.  Textastic is a competent programmers editor that happens to be free and is available in the Mac App Store.  It's also available as an iPad/iPhone app, and an upcoming version wi

Fotor - the free image editing app for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Windoze

I'm in the market for a free or low cost image editing application, one to resize images, do a little bit of touch-ups, manipulate the metadata tags, that sort of thing.  Nothing complex, and I certainly don't need Photoshop.  I heard of Fotor, supposedly a good image application and better yet it's free.

I have tested the Mac OS X desktop version on my laptop.  It's downloadable via their website, or available through the Mac App Store.  I got my copy through the App Store, and it was quite easy.

How to diagnose Mac OS X startup disk being almost full

The 200 gigabyte disk in your laptop may have seemed infinitely huge when you bought it, but as it so often seems true there's a pattern of empty space getting filled up with stuff.  On a Mac OS X machine you find out the disk is full when the system pops up a dialog saying "Your startup disk is almost full.

Why is Google canceling Google Reader? Was it due to the redesign that gutted features?

RSS ReaderIt is surprising when a company wants to kill a popular product, and Google Reader certainly is a popular product.  Lots of people are using it, and are rabid users of the service.  But as I noted earlier, Google is planning to kill Reader in July 2013, and my response is to collect some requirements and look for a

Google Reader being retired in July, despite millions of passionate users

RSS ReaderToday, Google announced that Google Reader was to be retired on July 1, 2013.  For me this is a difficult piece of news to receive, because I read the news using Google Reader, and I am constantly using that application to keep abreast of news.  Google Reader, coupled with Google Alerts, has been an excellent way to keep up with things.  With the combination, I've programmed a long list of news/blog searches into Aler

Digitizing old audio cassette tapes, modernizing your life and reducing clutter

cassette-tapes-webDo you have boxes of old cassette tapes you want to digitize and bring into the modern world?  Digitizing cassette tapes to create MP3 files is pretty simple, almost as simple as playing a cassette tapes.  There are a range of cassette players available with a USB port, making the task of creating MP3 files from your old cassette tapes very simple.

Taming email overload and creating autoresponders with Gmail Canned Responses

Coping with email overload can be taxing, and fortunately Google's Gmail service has some good email management features.  The priority inbox feature is the most prominent, and automatically prioritizes your email's for you.  But one quickly wants more, and a little known "auto-reply" feature  can automate some of your email responses, relieving you of mundane e-mail chores.  It can act as an email autoresponder, and you can even automatically tell an unwanted correspondent to buzz off while ensuring that you yourself do not read their email.

Java toolbar controversy ploy riding on back of Java security flaw drama

java-logo.jpgIn the wake of a major security flaw found in Java, a petition is circulating demanding that Oracle stop bundling a payola toolbar with the Java runtime. This practice was begun by Sun Microsystems, during the time period I was a Java SE team-member, and is being continued by Oracle. It is to bundle a toolbar, the "Ask Toolbar," with the Java download, such as what's available through the java.com website. Sun, and now Oracle, earns a little bit of money per download.

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